WebMethods Founder Launches New Venture

Clint Heiden, left, suggested the VisualCV concept to Phillip Merrick, the founder of WebMethods.
Clint Heiden, left, suggested the VisualCV concept to Phillip Merrick, the founder of WebMethods. (Visualcv)
Monday, February 11, 2008

Phillip Merrick, founder and former chief executive of Washington technology company WebMethods, is launching a new venture today that tries to apply the powers of Web 2.0 to job hunting.

VisualCV, based in Reston, operates a Web site allowing job seekers to build online resumes with videos, work samples, reference letters and other media, in addition to the standard work and education information. Links to the pages can be sent to prospective employers and shared with firms that have pages on the site.

"The resume is a broken tool," said Clint Heiden, who will serve as chief executive. "We want to allow people to be creative in ways that had been limited in the past."

Many companies offer the ability to create Web pages and host multimedia, as well as network (LinkedIn) and recruit (Monster and CareerBuilder). VisualCV's founders are trying to put those features into one site.

"If it was easy to do this with a standard Web page, we think we'd already see a lot more people doing it," said Merrick, the company's chairman.

VisualCV already has pages for 50 employers, including MicroStrategy and VeriSign. The site is free to job seekers and does not expect to carry advertising. It plans eventually to charge companies for premium features.

Merrick oversaw strong growth at WebMethods but faced shareholder pressure and resigned in 2004. Last year, the company was bought by German business software giant Software AG.

After leaving WebMethods, Merrick spent time with his family and started an investment firm. About 15 months ago, Heiden, a recruiter dissatisfied with the limits of paper resumes, approached him with the idea of VisualCV.

"Having the opportunity to do a next-generation Internet business and try to solve a problem in a way that hasn't been done before was an intriguing opportunity," Merrick said.

-- Zachary A. Goldfarb

© 2008 The Washington Post Company